"Ensuring Your Web Presence Contributes"

Web story, the beginning

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Posted by admin on Wed 14 May 2008

Every web site owner has a story or three to tell. Most web site owners want to make money from their site. Lots of web sites offer advice on how to do this (jargon "monetize"). Probably the most popular business on the Internet is how to make money on the Internet! They urge you to buy their latest snake oil system which will have you earning indecent amounts of money in hardly any time at all. Their spiel is awash with numerous testimonials from customers draped over their latest Ferrari/beautiful significant other which proves how much money they are making. Beware, low flying pigs!

Undoubtedly, there are original ideas yet to surface, but most people are trying the same methods, affiliates, e-books, lists etc. That's OK, just make sure your approach is smarter than the mob's.

I have made modest money from my sites and am happy to tell you how. I provide something of value, tools and advice on the technical issues of dynamic web sites.

  • I developed a shareware javascript editor and have sold a few copies at US$29.00 for a single user license.
  • I offer my web developer services and have gained client's directly from my web site. Fortunately, they have been superb clients who know what they want and pay without quibble. I may have been lucky, or its just possible the stuff on my site lets them know quite a lot about me, so I am attracting the right sort of client.
  • I run google adsense advertisements.

Since starting in November 2003, I have carefully set up sites expecting certain outcomes. Sometimes I am surprised, so I will share a few tales of the unexpected (sorry Roald Dahl), they may entertain and/or educate!

When I taught Javascript at a tertiary institute, I found myself going insane trying to assist 20 newbie students using Notepad and IE to code and run their programs. Long story short, I wrote an editor with a built in Javascript parser to catch the syntax errors at edit time. Teaching became tolerable again. After trotting the product around academic conferences, it was suggested I sell it to the world. So I made it into shareware with 20 free usages and set up a site to market it. Of course e-commerce is all based on payments via credit card, paypal etc so I set up all the appropriate infrastructure.

I was getting traffic and the shareware was being downloaded. Anticipating the first sale, I checked email frequently. Then I received a registered snail mail from Poland. It contained a letter and a US twenty dollar note! Yay, a cash sale, this e-commerce is really fantastic! And the person in Poland trusted me to deliver, which of course I did. Sad to say that is the only cash sale in years of trading, it just happened to be the first.

What is the point? Well, because the Internet can deliver the unusual we need to be prepared for surprises and to adapt.

Has anything like this happened to you? Feedback welcome.

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